From Petrus Obi, Enugu
THOUSANDS of residents at Awgu in Enugu West Senatorial Zone of Enugu State yesterday took to the streets to protest
what they described as the persecution of the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu alongside President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki over allegation of forgery.
The protesters who demanded an end to the “persecution of their son”, headed straight for the constituency office of Hon.Toby Okechukwu representing Awgu/Aninri Federal Constituency to register their displeasure.
Some of the placards displayed by the protesters read: “Enough is Enough,” “Life wire of Igbo race should not be harassed”, “Presidency leave the Senate alone,” “Our Son,
Dr. Ike Ekweremadu and senate leadership are on course;;,” “Buhari, APC, let Ikeoha be,” among others.
At the end of a meeting with the federal lawmaker, the stake-holders issued a communiqué, where they vowed to resist any attempt to remove Ekweremadu from his current position. In the communiqué which was read by former Secretary to Enugu State Government Prof. Sam Ukpabi, they acccused a narrow cabal in the All Progressives Congress (APC), of unleashing reign of “bitterness, nepotism, hate and crushing economic hardship” on the masses. According to the communique, “Since the re-election
of Senator Ekweremadu as the Deputy President of the 8th Senate on 9th June 2015, the APC has neither hidden its hatred and disgust for the revered senator nor its declared intention to get rid of him by ‘all means’, not minding that the process, which produced him and, which was watched live by Nigerians
on television, was credible and transparent.” While describing the trial as a desperate act, they declared that “Senator Ike Ekweremadu is a senator of the Federal Republic, elected with an overwhelming mandate of his people and has remained one of Nigeria’s brightest lawmakers who enjoys the confidence of his colleagues;; on account of which he was re-elected the Deputy Senate President for an
unprecedented third time.
“The meeting declare that his re-election into that position did not violate any known convention, practice, and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “That the desperation of this cabal within the APC-led Federal Government’s desperation to get rid of Senator Ekweremadu by “all means” is
hugely counter-productive and hold ramifying consequences for Nigeria’s political stability and unity.
“That we will hold the APC-led Federal Government squarely responsible should anything untoward happen to Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
“The meeting condemned, in the strongest terms, this kangaroo trial of the Senate presiding officers and National Assenbly bureaucracy in continued contempt for the rule of law, revered democratic principle of separation of powers, court orders, which constitute a dangerous muscling of the judiciary, and
“abuse of legal process” (in the words of Justice Kolawole) by the APC-led Federal Government.
“It calls on the APC-led Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, refrain from this culture of political persecution and take immediate steps to arrest the unprecedented hardships faced by Nigerians in the past thirteen months, the nosedive of the naira, the menace of herdsmen who have turned every part of southern and Middle Belt of Nigeria to killing, raping, and maiming fields; the resurgence of restiveness in various parts of the country;; the rising culture of inconclusive and poorly conducted elections;; and the disturbing fast-diminishing of human rights and political freedoms.”